Thursday, November 27, 2008

1,600 Line Up for Free Food in Sacramento

Happy Thanksgiving!

posted by Karen Massie

SACRAMENTO, CA - It's a sign of just how difficult times are for many Sacramento area residents. About 1,600 people waited in line for up to five hours to get a free Thanksgiving Day food basket.

The line of people hoping to get into the Sacramento Food Bank was more than three blocks long in Oak Park. Thomas Kirkendoll tried to keep his toddler amused as they slowly moved toward the pick-up area.

"I came to get Thanksgiving Day dinner for my two kids," said Kirkendoll. "It's been really tough because we didn't have a place to live. We just barely got a place and are getting on our feet."

Julia Covell said she'd never been to the food bank before. "I can't afford a turkey. I have a father-in-law who just got out of the hospital and we wanted to spend Thanksgiving with him," she said.

Unemployed electrician Joseph Dill said he was surprised by long lines outside the facility. "I'll cook this turkey tonight because Mother Hubbard's cupboards are bare," said Dill. "I've been off work for about a month. The company I was working for didn't send my wages in so I've been penalized twice because I wasn't able to get unemployment. This is helping me out."

"We knew we would be busy but we never expected anything like this," said food bank Operations Manager Shannin Saulnier.

[. . .]

"We're seeing much greater need this year," said Saulnier. "We've seen our number of clients increase by as much as 15 percent over the last three or four months."

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